Look: Fighter jets, missiles, drones; military might on full display at Dubai Airshow 2023

India and Pakistan military jets Tejas and JF-17 Thunder also compete at the airshow


Waheed Abbas

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Photos: Waheed Abbas/KT
Photos: Waheed Abbas/KT

Published: Thu 16 Nov 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Thu 16 Nov 2023, 11:33 PM

The Dubai Airshow is popularly known for its blockbuster commercial aircraft orders of billions of dollars. But military might is also on full display at the 18th edition of the show, the biggest ever, with the UAE, the US, India, Pakistan, Russia and China, showcasing their latest 'big boy' toys.

In addition to commercial jets put on display by carriers from around the world, also put on display are gigantic military vehicles, cargo aircraft, missiles, fighter jets, helicopters, training aircraft and other war machines.

The UAE military and other local entities dominate the limelight with the display of their advanced vehicles, missiles and aircraft etc. A number of local companies such as Edge, Calidus and others are showcasing their latest technologies to prospective buyers at the five-day biennial show.

Edge Group, one of the world’s top 25 military suppliers, is showcasing missiles, weapons and other defence equipment.

The UAE companies have also grabbed some major deals during the ongoing show.

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Edge on Wednesday said its subsidiary Lahab Defence Systems won a major contract worth Dh4.1 billion contract for the supply of aircraft munitions. Its other entity, Adasi, an autonomous systems and services firm, won a Dh487 million contract to supply RASH 2M and RASH 2H guidance kits for mortars and other in-house designed payloads to the UAE’s Ministry of Defence. The high-precision guided munition systems are used across a wide range of military applications.

The US, which commands the world’s most powerful army, has also made its presence felt with gigantic military cargo and fighter jets that dot the display area of the airshow. These 'big boy' toys by the Americans are wowing the visitors. Not just that, the US and its defence entities have also put up a strong display with its massive pavilions at the exhibition.

European multi-role fighter jet Eurofighter Typhoon and French company Dassault’s Rafale also make their presence feel at the show, grabbing the attention of the visitors.

India’s Tejas and Pakistan’s JF-17 Thunder are also grabbing the attention of the visitors.

Built jointly in cooperation with China, Pakistan has brought its highly advanced and latest variant – block III – of its JF-17 to the show alongside the training aircraft Super Mushshak. This is the first time that Pakistan has introduced the mighty machine at an international air show.

The fighter jet is equipped with improved avionics and weapon capability. Prior to this, Pakistan Airforce introduced Block I and Block II of the fighter jets to buyers at international shows.

On the other hand, India is showcasing its military might through its indigenously-built light multi-role combat fighter aircraft Tejas, boasting a range of 2,000km. Built by Hindustan Aeronautical Limited, the aircraft is equipped with the latest technologies and can carry a variety of payloads.

The two arch-rivals are trying to sell their powerful machines to prospective customers at the Dubai Airshow 2023, which has emerged as a major platform for both commercial and defence buyers.


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